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Patrick Osborn has said goodbye to the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs after being the only charter member of the independent, minor league franchise to remain with the club in each of its six seasons dating back to Day 1 in 2008.

Osborn departed his position as the Blue Crabs manager of the last three seasons when he accepted his new job on Dec. 12 to become the skipper of one of the two New York Yankees Gulf Coast League teams at the Rookie level within the mega-franchise’s umbrella of minor league affiliates.

The 33-year-old Osborn began his longstanding relationship with the Blue Crabs as the team’s starting third baseman from 2008 to 2010, being groomed into his first managerial role toward the end of his productive minor league career by Southern Maryland’s inaugural skipper, Butch Hobson.

This career move brings Osborn one step closer to his dream of becoming a Major League Baseball manager.

“I can’t thank the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs and the Atlantic League enough for the opportunity to start my managerial career within such a great environment,” Osborn said in a press release last week from the Blue Crabs. “The guidance, support and professionalism has been second to none. The Southern Maryland community has impacted my life, as well as my baseball career, in ways I never imagined. I’m looking forward to this next step as I try to rise to the pinnacle of baseball.”

The Blue Crabs are in the midst of a national search to find their next manager with no timetable in place for that person to be named as of yet. No candidates to replace Osborn have been disclosed.

“A big part of our job is to assist our on-field personnel in pursuing their dreams of making it to the Major Leagues,” Blue Crabs general manager Patrick Day said in the release. “Patrick and the Atlantic League assist players in getting back to Major League organizations every summer. Now, it’s his turn. Our organization has always believed that he will someday be a Major League manager. We are excited for him and wish him all the best.”

Osborn, a Bakersfield, Calif., native who currently lives in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., played nine seasons of minor league baseball. Hobson selected him as his successor in Southern Maryland prior to the 2011 season when Hobson left to become the Lancaster manager. Lancaster is a member of the Atlantic League like the Blue Crabs.

Osborn’s Blue Crabs made the playoffs in each of his three seasons at the helm, extending the club’s Atlantic League-best current playoff run to five straight years in 2013.

“It’s bittersweet,” Osborn said in an interview last week about no longer being a Blue Crabs member, which has characterized his baseball life since 2008. “I’ve called Southern Maryland home for the past six summers, met so many great people. The people, booster club, [my Southern Maryland host family] Bob and Paula Sorrells, [my Blue Crabs coaches and close friends] Jeremy Owens and Joe Gannon. ... The list goes on and on. I will miss it.”

But Osborn is ready for this next chapter of his life. A couple weeks after the 2013 campaign ended for the Blue Crabs, he sent his résumé out to all 30 Major League organizations.

“The Yankees contacted me in late October about some positions possibly opening,” the former Blue Crabs manager added. “As far as which [Yankees Gulf Coast team] I’ll be managing, I don’t know. I don’t know for sure when I’ll report. [I’m] guessing mid-February.”

It’s not that Osborn was discontent with remaining with the Blue Crabs entering 2014.

“I sent the résumés out more to see what type of feedback I would receive,” he detailed. “I wouldn’t say I [needed] to move on, but if something developed, I felt it was the right [move]. I’m ready for the change. There will be some differences [between managing the Blue Crabs and a Yankees Rookie level team]. The biggest [difference] being development versus winning. The players [at the Rookie level] will all be young and raw. I will become a more of a teacher.”

Osborn also noted, “I had never sent out my résumé prior to this offseason.”

Osborn’s teams posted a 199-202 record, a .496 winning percentage, in his three years as the Blue Crabs manager. Despite being just under .500, the Blue Crabs made the playoffs in each of his three seasons and came within a Game 5 late-inning loss of advancing to the Atlantic League Championship Series in the 2012 divisional series of the playoffs. That was as close as the Osborn-led Blue Crabs got to playing for the franchise’s elusive championship in a best-of-five series.

In Osborn’s final season at the helm, the Blue Crabs were 65-74, which was the best overall record in a weak Liberty Division that still yielded the Long Island Ducks as the league champions for the second straight year.

Osborn’s best year with the Blue Crabs, record-wise, was in 2011 when they were 65-57. Their overall mark was third best that year in the division. In 2012, the Blue Crabs’ 69-71 losing tab led the division, as was the case this past year.

dcogle@somdnews.com